Presentation on theme: "Part 2 - Food Chains and Webs: If an ecosystem is to be self-sustaining it must contain a flow of energy. Those life activities that are characteristic."— Presentation transcript:
Part 2 - Food Chains and Webs: If an ecosystem is to be self-sustaining it must contain a flow of energy. Those life activities that are characteristic of living organisms require an expenditure of energy.
The pathways of energy through the living components of an ecosystem are represented by food chains and food webs. Producers convert the radiant energy of the sun into the chemical energy of food.
A.Food chain: involves the transfer of energy from green plants through a series of organisms with repeated stages of eating and being eaten B. Food web: In a natural community, the flow of energy and materials is much more complicated than illustrated by any one food chain.
Since practically all organisms may be consumed by more than one species, many interactions occur along the food chains of any community.
Food Web Interactions: 1.Producers: (plants) -- the energy of the community is derived from the organic compounds in plants - (grass in the web above)
2.Primary Consumer: (always a herbivore) - feeds on plants (mice, grasshoppers, and rabbits in the web above)
3.Secondary Consumer: (always a carnivore) -- feeds upon other consumers (frogs, sparrows, snakes, and foxes above) (The hawk is a secondary or 3rd level consumer depending on the availability of food.) Omnivores may be primary or secondary consumers.
4.Decomposers: break down organic wastes and dead organisms to simpler substances (ex. bacteria of decay) ** Through decomposition, chemical substances are returned to the environment where they can be used by other living organisms.
Energy Flow: Energy flows through ecosystems in one direction, typically from the Sun, through photosynthetic organisms, including green plants and algae, through herbivores, to carnivores, and finally decomposers.
There is a decrease in the overall energy in each level as you move up the food web. This means that there is much more energy in the producer level in a food web than at the consumer levels. Also, this means that there is more energy at the primary consumer level than at the secondary consumer level.